Business is a team game

Business is a team play, i.e., all areas in a business must be properly taken care of. There will be many functions within businesses such as production, operations, marketing, sales, accounting, human resources, logistics, etc. In a small business these functions could be handled by just one person with some services being outsourced. However, each function must work together with one another. If any process is ignored or incomplete, the business will not run smoothly.

Businesses that do not fulfill this technicality, tend to fail, unless changes are quickly made. Even one man shows, such as a fledgling legal practice require an assistant to handle documents, court papers, court appointments, banking transactions, and many more.

The most basic of any start up must at least have a bookkeeper to keep accurate track of all incomes and expenses, failing which the company could within a year, fall into bad times.

If a business start up is based on a single person’s idea and he or she is passionate about his or her idea, and feels it is a viable business to venture into, he or she ought to find some like minded people to talk it over before pursuing the idea. This is for them to discover other factors for which they may not have thought off. It is so easy to ignore possible red flags in one’s desire to start a business. Another person will help, even if he or she is not of the same mindset.

To grow a business, one must build the team carefully. A prerequisite in taking a person in is, he or she must be a team player, willing to listen to other opinions and accept differences. Even if just one person does not pull his or her weight for the team, the business is doomed.

Remember all you budding entrepreneurs, always be on the look out for team members.

Good luck!

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Starting a business

Ever since humans discarded hunting for food, commerce has prospered to support us in all areas of our life. Some choose to work for others, while some work for themselves. Many will find starting a business an attractive proposition. There are many businesses one can begin and each industry has its uniqueness. But one of the aims of each one of these is to provide sufficient income for the business owner to pay for all the commitments of the business and to provide for his personal expenses.

Is it easy to start a business?

The answer is of course it depends on what type of business you venture into. Small businesses and big businesses differ in many aspects. The complexity increases as the business gets bigger in terms of financial requirements, staffing needs, infrastructure, promotion, and many others.

The smaller businesses will be the easiest to start. Being easy to start means, competition will be plentiful. The person who provides the best value for the products or services will eventually survive. Thus many businesses fail in the first year of operations, regardless of the size of the business.

How do we ensure the success?

Business is a team play, i.e., all areas in a business must be properly taken care of. There are many functions within businesses such as production, marketing, sales, accounting, human resources, etc. In a small business these functions could be handled by just one person with some services being outsourced. However, each function must work together with one another. Thus it is technically a team play.

Other success factors include sufficient back up by financially strong parties to help tide matters until profitability is attained. These may be individuals or financial institutions. Many forms are financing are now available. Experts in finance will also be a team member.

How do we put all these together?

A business plan will certainly come in handy. Do not believe anyone who says he has it all in his head! Many other factors must be covered. Some businesses require licensing. Requirements of town councils may sometimes be a necessity. Environmental safety could also be a factor.

Starting a business is easy but ensuring its success require more work and a professional business plan writer would certainly assist.

Good luck!

27 October 2014.

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Ramble On – The beginning

I am a quiet person. I do not easily speak to strangers. Basically I am an introvert, though I have often wanted to be prolific at blogging. I have a lot to say and this is a slight paradox really. I started this site just to do that. However, I did not manage to write and post regularly. Often, I have written articles and found that I could not finish them. I have many half completed pieces in my computer. Thus, I am creating this section to allow me to upload short pieces quickly so that my thoughts are not wasted. I will try to complete some of them soon.

Ramble on is inspired by Led Zeppelin’s song from their second album in 1969, in which they sang about rambling on to find their girl wherever she has gone. Although the meaning is not accurate. The title is. So I ramble on.

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The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round

1 January 2019

Let me start with what I did from early today. I have a lovely granddaughter who turned two in November. She and her family were flying off to Melbourne this morning and we sent her off as early as 7:00 a.m. The flight was from KLIA2. There was a huge crowd, although much has been automated such as check-in and printing of boarding passes and baggage tags. The flight left safely at 10:35 a.m.

There were two girls maybe 5 and 6 years-old who were singing, “The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round….” My granddaughter pulled my hand in the direction of a train cut out on hearing these kids singing and posing in the train’s windows. She’s heard the song before many times on television.

I was surprised when my granddaughter asked me to take photographs of her posing at some cut out train, though she was too short to stick her face up properly like these girls she had noticed. She had actually seen the older girls being photographed by their mother. See the photograph below.

She is not tall enough.

Usually we would have to suggest to her where to stand and how to pose in order to take photos of her, but today it was she who did so. Often when we wanted to photograph her, she would be playful, making faces at us or not looking at the camera at all, but today, she was such an angel.

At the end of the train.

We shall miss you while you are in Australia.

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Petaling Jaya, 1 January 2019

Welcome 2019.

I am planning to journal everyday as a form of therapy! I know it will be difficult, but I like to challenge myself. Instead of only writing journals privately, I have decided to occasionally write short daily blogs.

I will see whether I can sustain this or not. But I would be happy even if I just end up writing once-a-week.


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The website is back functioning the way it should. So I will continue posting blogs written previously which I could not upload, previously. Some are old. I will try and indicate which are old and which are recent ones .

I hope they are interesting enough but they would have written dates as much as I can remember.


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Happy New Year 2018!!!

The new year is already a few days old and I have not wished my readers a prosperous, healthy and wealthy new year. An oversight I beg your forgiveness for. I wish for all of us, a very good year indeed.

For Malaysians, we will have a general election soon. Could it be the most hard-fought elections ever? I pray that we as a nation have a safe and uneventful election. For whatever it’s worth, my advice has always been to study the incumbent and choose according to their ability to serve the electorate fairly, and without any racial or religious bias.

Malaysia is a small peaceful country and its citizens wish to continue living in peace.

To a wonderful year ahead.

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Malaysian breakfast specials – Getting value for money [Opinion]


A good Malaysian breakfast of 2 eggs, toasts and coffee

It is said that a good and proper breakfast is important to start a day. We should eat like a king for breakfast. I personally try to have a good breakfast before work. On the odd occasions that I do eat outside, I would have a breakfast special at any of the chain restaurants available. Usually, a breakfast special would combine different dishes and are priced slightly less than the items individually. That is a common practice here in Malaysia particularly.

Recently I went to a local restaurant chain which charges RM8.88 (before GST of 6%) for a breakfast special of toasted bread, 2 boiled eggs and beverage of coffee or tea. That I thought was also value for money. I then went again after about 2 weeks, and I noticed that the menu had changed. A new menu has been introduced. When I asked, I was told that the old menu was out of date as they have introduced new food items and taken out some less popular items from the menu.

As I thought the breakfast special was good value, I asked for a breakfast special. I was told that the special is still RM8.88, but consist of a main dish and a beverage. To have 2 boiled eggs as an add-on, we have to pay an additional RM2.00. Now, that sounds like a price increase though nicely hidden, so as not to be too obvious! The staff said some people complained there was too much food in the breakfast special, so they decided to change it but served it all day long. So it is now just a special meal.

This a common trick used in restaurants whenever there is a price increase. Usually, a restaurant hides its price increase by subtly reducing the portion sizes of the food items. In this instance, they couldn’t make the toast any smaller, nor could they make the eggs any smaller! So, they package it differently!

I am sure that the people who complain are such a small number but it was just an excuse for them to do what they intended, i.e., have a price increase. So I am going to check out other local restaurant chains if they too have changed their pricings for a breakfast special.

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Do we eat healthy food?



In this modern world, we often have to eat out. However, for home cooked meals, we have to be sure the ingredients are from a reliable source. There are several ways for us to ensure the choices we make are healthy ones.

We often wonder if the food we eat is nutritious and that it would make us healthy and keep us healthy. We would naturally prefer foods that are sourced from naturally grown, pesticide-free produce and animals fed with natural feed meals. However, when humans decided to produce food based on quantity rather than quality, most farms have become manufacturing plants, i.e., mechanising their processes. Since then, food has become overly processed in order to allow for a long shelf life, which minimises production costs due to optimal production size and ensuring larger profit margins.

We also live in a time when we are unsure of the food that we eat every day, whether it is real or fake.  We read of artificial cabbages and eggs from China. We have unclear food labelling of products from the United States. It has the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) which is supposedly meant to protect its consumers. However, producers often circumvent these rules by saying half-truths, i.e., they are not absolutely lying as it falls within the limits of the FDA rules. Some so-called healthy food choices are not, but since their sugar content falls below the minimum, they claim to be. Often fructose is added too.

As a man in the street, I suggest we choose free-farmed meat and poultry. Free-farmed products remain on pasture from birth to market. Cattle raised this way thus, consume a natural diet of legumes and grasses of their choosing.

Beware though that sometimes terms such as ‘free-roaming’ or ‘hormone free’ are used to express the products are safe, although they may not be. ‘Hormone-free’ and ‘antibiotic-free’ only guarantee the meat or poultry product had undetectable traces of antibiotics or hormones at the time of slaughter or processing. These are readings made which use samples of the products at that point in time, and may not represent all that is actually produced.

I suggest we use common sense to check our food that we buy. Some tests include smelling the items to be bought and choosing products that have shorter shelf life, meaning the product is as close to being in its natural form. For example, when we buy milk in the grocery store, and their expiry date is another year or more than six (6) months, I would think that it has been processed so much to allow milk to stay fresh for so long. So we should choose milk or milk products with shorter expiry dates.

As a rule of thumb, if the product has a longer shelf life, it means it has been processed extensively.

In summary, we should do the following:

  • Smell the item. If they are vegetable produce, smell the items to be bought.
  • Check the expiry date. As I said earlier, shorter expiry indicates a more natural product.
  • Read labels for additives and preservatives added. They are usually better if none are added.
  • Check that the ingredients used are from natural sources.
  • Check for sugar and salt content, if provided.
  • Check the fat used is not trans fat.

Good luck in your food choices. Do not eat too much of a certain food. Be moderate always.

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My Oxide Green Diary

I met my son after lunch recently. I have not met him for a while. The first words my son spoke to me were not the usual salutations we exchange as Muslims. Instead he asked, “What’s with that bright coloured diary?”


My son and family know me as an ultra-conservative, reluctant to try new trends in fashion and usually dressed in plain colours like grey, blue and earth shades. My wife tried to change that and bought me a dark green material for a shirt. Well, I duly got it made. My daughter felt I wasn’t quite comfortable with the dark green colour, and chose a lighter green material also some time back. Well they are both made into fine shirts and are still in my cupboard, looking quite pristine! J

So, bright green is a colour not associated with me.

So now I need to explain to my son how I ended up buying a green coloured diary.

As is a common denominator among businesses, earnings are quite important. Non-profit organizations and such likes often claim to profit marginally, although we are all aware of many cases where charity is a money making process! I shall not go into that.

If a company has strong mass appeal and its main clientele are the glamorous people of this world, than a product may only be worth RM200, but is sold at RM2000 to a strong base of purchasers.

These are the top brands of the world such as Apple, Microsoft, Coca Cola, McDonalds, Louis Vuitton, etc. Now look at brands such as Olay, Estee Lauder, L’Oreal, Lancome which pays millions of US Dollars for their Brand Ambassadors. Does it not make you wonder how much they really make?

As a consumer, I refuse to be forced to buy products which are greatly over-priced. Do you think I am being a cheapskate? Whatever you may believe, I try my best to buy things at less than the actual recommended retail price.

So, as I explained to my son, I have always used organizers and diaries so I would not be hassled by unexpected events. These items can be expensive unless one buys the generic ones or one at Daiso. Daiso diaries are in Japanese, so one has to guess what is actually printed on the diary. So the cheaper diaries won’t do. Thus, the expensive ones are usually the better ones.

I used to follow the Franklin Covey system when I was working. These I found were extremely helpful. They have daily sheets for every day of the year.  Franklin Covey sells yearly diaries and 18-month diaries which either starts in July or January. Often I would go in September or March to buy them as they would be at a discount. Often the discount is as high as 50%. Thus I would be paying half price for an 18-month diary. That means I pay for at a value of a 9-month diary for use for 15 months! Is that not worth it?

Now, as I get older I do not have appointments every day. So I use other diaries. But still the same principles apply when buying a new diary. So two weeks into January I went looking at those slightly more expensive diaries. Alas, they don’t have them in my favourite colours anymore.  Well I need to be organized so I bought my bright oxide green diary at half its original selling price, two weeks into January!

Two thoughts come to mind.

One is as an individual my concern is not to waste money. It doesn’t mean being a cheapskate, but getting the best value for what one pays.

Another is as a businessman. One must maximize one’s income and the pricing mechanism is key in a business success. One doesn’t sell an item RM110 if its production cost is RM100, because the selling price needs to cover for advertising, packaging, transportation, storage and many more.

I shall write articles for these two thoughts in two websites:

  1. for my personal opinions, thoughts, etc., and
  2. for my business ideas, systems, etc.

Feel free to comment on these sites.

First uploaded February 2013.

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